Australian official accuses British swimmers of bad hygiene

Australia and Great Britain have a long history of sporting rivalry, particularly with Australia and England in the cricket. A new controversy has emerged as John Coates, the head of the Australian Olympic Committee, was quoted as saying, “It’s not bad for a country that has no swimming pools and very little soap,” after Great Britain won the 400m freestyle gold medal.

The chief executive of British Swimming, David Sparkes, replied. “I don’t know anything about the average Australian’s use of soap,” he said. “I have no idea about their personal hygiene.”

The war of words started when British secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Andy Burnham, before the Olympics, said that “old rivals like Australia … are saying they are in danger of falling behind Team GB in the medal table.”

I can only say, the results speak for themselves.

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